Kindred - Octavia E. Butler


By Octavia E. Butler

  • Release Date: 1997-07-20
  • Genre: Science Fiction
Score: 4.5
From 1,056 Ratings


From the New York Times bestselling author of Parable of the Sower and MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Nebula, and Hugo award winner

The visionary time-travel classic whose Black female hero is pulled through time to face the horrors of American slavery and explores the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.

“I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.”

Dana’s torment begins when she suddenly vanishes on her 26th birthday from California, 1976, and is dragged through time to antebellum Maryland to rescue a boy named Rufus, heir to a slaveowner’s plantation. She soon realizes the purpose of her summons to the past: protect Rufus to ensure his assault of her Black ancestor so that she may one day be born. As she endures the traumas of slavery and the soul-crushing normalization of savagery, Dana fights to keep her autonomy and return to the present.

Blazing the trail for neo-slavery narratives like Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer, Butler takes one of speculative fiction’s oldest tropes and infuses it with lasting depth and power. Dana not only experiences the cruelties of slavery on her skin but also grimly learns to accept it as a condition of her own existence in the present. “Where stories about American slavery are often gratuitous, reducing its horror to explicit violence and brutality, Kindred is controlled and precise” (New York Times).

“Reading Octavia Butler taught me to dream big, and I think it’s absolutely necessary that everybody have that freedom and that willingness to dream.” 
—N. K. Jemisin 

The series adaption from FX premieres December 13 on Hulu. Developed for television by writer/executive producer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen), executive producers also include Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields (The Americans, The Patient), and Darren Aronofsky (The Whale). Janicza Bravo (Zola) is director and an executive producer of the pilot. Kindred stars Mallori Johnson, Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, and Gayle Rankin.


  • Unlimited Stars

    By LKJ813
  • Great read

    By Delois1
    Was about to watch the series on Hulu but remembered this was a book first. Decided to read the book and so glad I did. I couldn’t put it down and had me full of emotions.
  • Simply amazing

    By 1YoungGod
    This book has took control of me and brought me into its world, I couldn’t stop reading it as if it was a movie in front of me! Each chapter left me wondering and wanting more, definitely a book I would recommend! When I realized the book was written 47 years ago, it tripped me out more how much I related to the book. The series introduced me to the book but the book has made me not care much for the series. All in all I would say I definitely enjoyed this book.
  • Great read

    By Chris2dec
    I watched the tv adaptation of this book after the recommendation of a friend. It only has one season so far which I binged in a day and a half, and which left off on a total cliffhanger. When I learned that the show was based on the first few chapters of this book, I bought it immediately. I had to know what happened. The book did not disappoint at all. I couldn’t put it down and finished in 2 days. Highly recommend this read, very entertaining but also makes you think.
  • Astonishingly Excellent!

    By Mr. Sting
    Unexpectedly novel blending of American history, generational family, and supernatural fiction that illuminates what colonial slavery was like with all of its complexities and contradictions. Very original. Bravo!!!
  • If I can give it 10 I would!!!!

    By Talizha
    This is literally the best book I’ve read in such a long time! Really made me think about my roots!
  • Wonderful writing

    By Julieadams521
    Couldn’t put it down! Captivating!
  • Amazing

    By Thacila
    I have always been someone who proclaims that I do not like sci-fi. This book definitely changed that. Not only in its ability to pass on history, but also in the way it connects to a lot of the struggles Black Americans continue to go through. I really loved this book, and I hope everyone who reads this has at least part of the love that I will always have for this book.
  • Kindred

    By Vadjrasattva
    A fascinating exploration of the human relationship between owner and slave under exceptional circumstances. Dana, an African American woman in 1976 and her White husband Kevin are transported back to 1815- circa 1835, to rescue a white son of a slave owner from dying; under different circumstances at different times. Through records in Dana’s family Bible, she learns that Rufus, the slave owners son, is likely her ancestor, father of the first listed name, Hagar. Their relationship begins with Rufus as a 5 year old which opens their relationship before adult prejudice hardens. Rufus recognizes that Dana helps and saves him by traveling from another place and time. Though Rufus has power over Dana because of race, he knows she alone saves him from dying creating ambivalence and anguish between them. Kindred is a remarkable exploration of the interplay between human connection and the overlay of slavery.
  • Thought provoking

    By SteveGillis
    A great answer to those of us who believe we could’ve been courageous enough to overcome a system to which all involved were a part, products of their environment. Timeless enough that it could’ve been written today. In addition, it even helps to explain why there continues to be a great divide between blacks and whites (and even within races) while the relationship between Dana and Kevin serves as a symbol of hope…